Luận văn The Language of Airlines’ Advertising Slogans

The use of second person addressee “you” tends to shorten the distance between the product or the producer and consumers, as if the producer or the ad is speaking to you face to face, making sincere promises, honest recommendations. In so doing, the ad slogans stand a better chance to move the receiver or customers to action, because the receiver feels that he is being thought of and taken care of and he is the center point of the producers.

You’ll love the way we fly –Delta Air Lines

Sincerely yours, Aeroflot -Aeroflot

The use of first person addresser “we” and “us” is the most direct way to tell the receiver what the sponsor of an ad slogan stands for, his idea, his view, and his credit. It’s a little bit like a self-introduction to the potential customers to let them know you, recognize you, believe you and trust you.

Come fly with us –Pakistan International Airlines

We really move our tails for you –Continental Airlines

 

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lly achieved. (3) Desire - the publicity of advertising should stimulate consumers’ desire to buy the product, and make them realize that this product is just what they want. Previously, most advertisements aimed at promoting their products’ merits, which is called product-oriented. However, there has been a shift of focus from product-oriented to audience-oriented, which is primarily concerned with the needs and wants, the hopes and fears of the target audience. (4) Action - the advertising makes consumers to response to the advertising information and evokes them to take the action of purchasing. It is here that the topmost task of advertising is fulfilled. Types of Advertising The features of different kinds of advertisements should be taken into account if advertisers want their messages to be effectively transferred to their customers. Different target audience or product types require different methods of advertising from advertisers. Different criteria can be used to classify advertisements. Geographically, there are local, national and international advertisements. In terms of advertising medium, there are print and electronic ones. Besides, as for their purposes, advertisements can be classified into commercial and non-commercial categories. The former category includes Consumer Advertising, Business Advertising, and Service Advertising. The latter can be called Public Interest Advertising. Consumer Advertising Most television, radio, newspaper and magazine advertisements are consumer advertisements. The consumer advertising includes alcoholic ads, cigarette ads, drink ads, food ads, wear ads, cosmetic ads, automobile ads, home electric appliance ads, and other products which are used and purchased by ordinary people. To this kind of advertisements, most people have developed a kind of ambivalent psychology. On one hand, they are bored with the endless advertisements hiding in the newspapers and magazines, clamoring on the radio, or dazzling on the TV. On the other hand, they still need the information to guide their purchasing. Therefore, to attract the consumers’ attention is the most important task for an advertising copywriter. Business Advertising Business advertising is often said to be invisible, because unless one is actively involved in some business, he is unlikely to see it. The majority of consumer advertising appears in mass consumer media. Business advertising, on the other hand, tends to be concentrated in specialized business publications or a professional journal, in direct-mail pieces mailed to business establishments, or in trade shows held for specific areas of business. Until recently, business advertising was rarely seen in the mass media. Service Advertising Service advertising is actually part of consumer advertising and business advertising, since consumer goods and industrial goods both include relevant service. However, due to its intangible feature, service is advertised in a more imaginable way. Hence wording service advertising is somewhat different from product advertising. Service advertising appears in both mass consumer media and specialized business publication according to its different target audience - consumer or people in business. Public Interest Advertising The general objective of public interest advertising is to inform, persuade, or remind people about the particular idea, cause, or philosophy being advertised. This kind of advertising is often used by non-business institutions, such as schools, hospitals and charitable organizations. We also see advertising by associations or government organizations. Much government advertising announces the availability of such valuable government services as consumer assistance, welfare aid, or career guidance. Many state governments use advertising to attract new businesses, tourists, or workers to aid their economy. Because of the fact that public interest advertising is nonprofit, the words it uses are much more different from the other 3 kinds of advertising. Its purpose is not to urge readers to spend their money, but to disseminate a kind of concept or advocate a social ethic. 2.2.5.4 Advertising Components According to the definition of the advertising, most of the advertisements should have the following components: (1). Advertiser The advertiser is the sender of information and all the advertising activities should be consistent with the purpose and willingness of the advertiser. The advertiser should be a recognizable group, including corporation, enterprise, government, organization and individual. (2). Advertising Fee The advertising fees are paid by the advertiser no matter it’s operated by itself or other agency. Because advertising is a kind of marketing action, an advertiser has to pay for its advertisement. (3). Advertising Information Advertising information is the principal contents an advertisement wants to disseminate. Advertising is a series of planning actions, so the information of advertising should be aimed at the certain target market and consumers, and should avoid aimlessness. The dissemination of information should be accurate, definite, recognizable and moderate in length. (4). Advertising Media Media are the means of the dissemination of advertising, including newspaper, magazine, broadcast, TV program, billboard and mail. The newspaper, magazine, broadcast and TV are called the four main media of advertising. Moreover, any kind of objects or tools can be a medium for the advertisement, such as airplane, train, bus, building, neon light, movie, package, exhibition, and etc. Different kinds of media have different features, disseminating area, target audience and speed. Within the advertisement itself, the components are headline, body copy, slogan, illustrations and colors, trademark, and brand name. These elements are named as visual elements. Another kind of elements - audio elements are advertising commentary, advertising music and advertising sounds. In these elements, headline, body copy and slogan are the most important elements in an advertisement. In this study, I would like to pay more attention to slogans, which carry the features of being explicit, refined and inflammatory. Features of Advertising Language The language of advertising has been described as a “functional dialect” (Smith, 1982:190). Holmes (2005:8) explains this term as “the product of a process whereby language is chosen and used for a particular purpose (hence, ‘functional’, and consequently becomes a variety (hence, ‘dialect’) of its own because it becomes associated with this particular function.” The definition has stated that the language of advertising is somehow different from normal language. Although advertisers always aim at being as close as possible to their customers, the most striking difference between the two kinds of languages is that advertising language is always well-planned in advance, and rarely random. To achieve the functions of drawing the attention, building the interest and stimulating the desire to buy the products among customers, the language used in advertising should be impressive, credible and stimulated. Schrank (1996) points out some techniques commonly used by advertisers in creating informative and persuasive advertisements. The first technique employed is “the weasel claim”. Weasel words or claims are the words used to say something, but actually they say the opposite or nothing at all. Common weasel words are help, virtually, act, work, refresh, fight, tackle, strengthen, etc. “”Leaves dishes virtually spotless” – … The next technique introduced is “the unfinished claim” in which advertisers claim that their products are better and have more of something but never finish their comparison. “Fashion and more” – Triumph underwear Another technique used by advertisers is called “We are different and unique”. The products advertised here are claimed to be the best and special in some aspects. Like.no.other – Sony Think different – Apple computer Some advertisers make their advertisements special by not stating anything special at all. This technique is called “water is wet” in which the true and obvious characteristics of the products are pointed out. TV you can watch – Nick-at-Nite In the technique called “So what claim”, an advantage of the product over other products of the same type is stated. Television for women – Lifetime Television A lot of meaningless words will be found in the advertisements using the technique called “the vague claim” which encourages customers stretch out their imagination and ability of inferring things. If it’s one, it’s in – Radio Times To make their messages sound credible and more persuasive, some advertisers use a technique called “scientific or statistical claim” in which facts and figures are fully provided. 99 44/100% Pure – Ivory Soap There is a fact that not all the time products are praised, sometimes it is the consumers. This technique is called “Compliment the consumer”. Nobody does it like you – Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Using “Rhetorical question” is the last technique introduced by Schrank (1996). The answers about the products’ merits will surely announced by the consumers themselves. Want a better Internet? – AOL 2.2.6 Advertising Slogan as a part of an Advertisement 2.2.6.1 Definition of a Slogan The word slogan is derived from a Scottish Gaelic word sluagh-ghairm pronounced as slogorm which used to mean battle-cry. According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (1995), “a slogan is a short easily-remembered phrase used by an advertiser, a politician, etc.” Therefore, in general, a slogan is a memorable motto used in political, commercial, religious, and other contexts as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose. In the particular case of an advertising slogan, it is a verbal logo normally appearing just beneath or beside the brand name or the logo of the product. A slogan is kind of a condensed message of the whole advertisement which advertisers want their customers to remember most. It is the usual case that slogans come to customers’ mind first when they think about the products. In his book, Creative Advertising, Charles L. Whittier (1958: 11) says a slogan: “…should be a statement of such merit about a product or service that it is worthy of continuous repetition in advertising, is worthwhile for the public to remember, and is phrased in such a way that the public is likely to remember it.” One interesting fact is that slogans are referred to with different terms in different countries. Here are some of them. Countries Terms meaning slogans The UK Endlines, end lines or straplines The USA Tags, tag lines, taglines or theme lines Germany Claims Belgium Baselines France Signatures The Netherlands and Italy Pay-offs or payoffs Some others Rip-offs or rip-offs Slogos (the slogan by the logo) 2.2.6.2 Requirements of a good advertising slogan A slogan should: Be memorable Recall the brand name Include a key benefit Differentiate the brand Impart positive feelings for the brand Reflect the brand’s personality Be strategic Be campaignable Be competitive Be original Be simple Be neat Be believable Help in ordering the brand A slogan should not Be in current use by others Be bland and generic Prompt a sarcastic or negative response Be pretentious Be negative Be corporate waffle Make you say “So what?” Be meaningless Be complicated or clumsy ( 2.2.7 Typical features of airline service as an advertising product First of all, it should be taken into consideration that airline advertising belongs to the category of service advertising, i.e. the advertising object here is intangible. Hence, it is a commonplace that customers know about the merits of the service through experiences, both first-hand and second-hand. Secondly, as all the airlines mentioned in this study are world-famous ones, their advertising campaigns must be international or cross-cultural. Obviously, each airline belongs to a particular country. However, their customers come from every corner of the world. It cannot be denied that culture varies from country to country, even from region to region within each country. With a population of customers coming from various cultures, airline advertisers must have a profound insight of the differences in their customers’ cultural values and perceptions. One that is considered good in this value may be bad in another. The advertising world is littered with examples of linguistic cross cultural blunders. Of the more comical was Ford's introduction of the 'Pinto' in Brazil. After seeing sales fail, they soon realized that this was due to the fact that Brazilians did not want to be seen driving a car meaning 'tiny male genitals'. Therefore, airline advertising should be kind of cross-cultural, or, more exactly, universal advertising which uses the most highly-accepted ideas to best speak to their target audience. Furthermore, the language used in airline advertisements, especially their slogans must be of simple and understandable English to all their customers, even those from non-English speaking countries. CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 3.1 A descriptive approach This study is actually a descriptive study as it “involves a collection of techniques used to specify, delineate, or describe naturally occurring phenomena without experimental manipulation” (Seliger & Shohamy, 1989:124). Therefore, the collection of data will be carried out through non-intrusive and non-manipulative procedures. The descriptive approach helps to investigate into the frequency of the occurrence of some linguistic phenomena among the slogans of some world-famous airlines. The purpose of this type of this research as it is introduced by Wisker (2001) is to find out more about a phenomenon and to capture it with detailed information. This study uses a combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods. The reasons for this combination lie in the procedures of the study. First of all, the slogans are investigated so that linguistic features appearing in them are discovered and named. Next, to find out which feature is the most commonly-used in airline slogans, the quantitative method is employed through systemizing the frequency of the occurrence of each feature in different tables. Some complementary methods used in this study include studying some specialist knowledge in advertising, getting to know the economic, social and cultural factors that have influence on the issue investigated as well as personal observation. 3.2 Data Collection In this study, more than 50 slogans taken from the advertisements of 50 airlines will be employed to find out the common features in the language used by airline advertisers. The slogans mostly belong to national airlines as well as the biggest airlines of some developed countries. All of them are enlisted in the database of airline advertising slogans on and most importantly, in the Skytrax list of World Airline Awards throughout some years. Skytrax is a United Kingdom-based consultancy, the public face of In-flight Research Services. It conducts research for commercial airlines. It carries out international traveler surveys to find the best cabin staff, airport, airline, airline lounge, in-flight entertainment, on board catering, and several other elements of air travel. Apart from these surveys, Skytrax has an airline forum where passengers give other potential passengers the feel of an airline before choosing to fly with them. They also have flight reviews, flight checks, and satisfaction surveys. They are best known for their annual World Airline Awards and World Airport Awards. ( The presence of these slogans in those highly prestigious lists of the world airlines proves their effectiveness and success in extending their services, among which their advertising strategies in general and their advertising slogans in particular play a vital part. What’s more, as they are among the biggest airlines in the world, the current trend in creating airlines slogans will be present in their own ones. The population of 50 airlines’ slogans to be investigated is considered large enough as it includes: Some national airlines, many of which belong to English-speaking countries situated in Europe and are famous for their airline services. Well-known names that can be mentioned are Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, Swissair, Lufthansa (Germany), and so on. Some other airlines which are not national airlines but really well-known in the world for their long-built prestige and often appear in the lists of Skytrax. Some randomly-chosen slogans in the database of airline slogans to ensure the generalization of the study. 3.3 Data Analysis To find out the prevailing trend in creating airline advertising slogans, all the chosen slogans will be studied in the light of common features of advertising slogans to see what features or techniques are mostly employed by airline advertisers. This purpose is best achieved by working out the commonly-employed linguistic features and the proportion of slogans possessing each feature and employing each technique, i.e. the quantitative method of analysis will be fully exploited. With each feature, some examples from the stock of 50 slogans chosen will be carefully analyzed, which means the qualitative method will be used as a combination here. Judging from the fact that a slogan is the most condensed and meaningful message the advertiser would like to send to his consumers, it is clear that every component of it plays a vital or indispensable part contributing to the success of the advertiser-consumer conversation. The art of making a slogan, though it just consists of a few words, must take these things into consideration: The words employed to make the message understood. Such questions as what words to use, how many words are needed, what part of speech to employ, etc. will surely be carefully prepared. The arrangement of the words chosen. The advertiser needs to ask himself such questions as: Will the slogan be a sentence or just a phrase? If it is a sentence, what kind of sentence should be used? What punctuation will be employed? The implicatures of the advertiser through the slogan. What kind of meaning should the consumers infer, literal or figurative or both? Why do they use certain words and certain kinds of sentences in each slogan? The sounds of the slogan when read out. The more special a slogan is, the more it is remembered by the customers. The impression can come from the sounds of the slogans when customers read them aloud. If the combination of the words can make rhythms as they rhyme with one another or they contain the phenomenon of alliteration, customers will find it difficult to forget them. Therefore, the analysis of the chosen slogans will base itself on the above components of a slogan to find out the mostly-shared characteristics among them. Those characteristics can be categorized in a more linguistic way which mentions them as lexical, syntactic, semantic and phonological features. Thus, the steps of the study are in the order as follows: Collect about 50 slogans from the database of airline slogans on websites: www.wikipedia.com and from the Skytrax list of World Airline Awards throughout some years. Investigate and analyze the lexical, phonological, semantic and syntactic features of those slogans. Work out the proportion of slogans using each feature to find out the prevailing trends among the airline slogans. CHAPTER 4 MAIN FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS 4.1 Main Findings 4.1.1 Phonological features Use of rhymes One of the best techniques for bringing in the brand name is to make the slogan rhyme with it. By this kind of rhyming, the brand name is highlighted. The ad slogan is thus highly purposed. It can differentiate a slogan from others by the brand name and the special rhyming which is the identity of the slogan. Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it –Thomas Cook ( A fall-back position is to use a rhyme and mention the brand name without it actually rhyming. It is not so effective, perhaps, because the brand name is not highlighted. Austrian. Like a smile in the sky - Austrian Airlines Use of alliteration Alliteration can help the slogans achieve the strong beating rhythm needed to make it a repeatable sentence. By so doing, the sentences are more slogan-styled. They can be easily remembered by the audience. Britain's best business bank - Allied Irish Bank Functional... Fashionable... Formidable... – Fila However, this technique is not employed by airline advertisers. 4.1.2 Lexical features Common uses of first and second person addressee “you”, “we”, and “us”. The use of second person addressee “you” tends to shorten the distance between the product or the producer and consumers, as if the producer or the ad is speaking to you face to face, making sincere promises, honest recommendations. In so doing, the ad slogans stand a better chance to move the receiver or customers to action, because the receiver feels that he is being thought of and taken care of and he is the center point of the producers. You’ll love the way we fly –Delta Air Lines Sincerely yours, Aeroflot -Aeroflot The use of first person addresser “we” and “us” is the most direct way to tell the receiver what the sponsor of an ad slogan stands for, his idea, his view, and his credit. It’s a little bit like a self-introduction to the potential customers to let them know you, recognize you, believe you and trust you. Come fly with us –Pakistan International Airlines We really move our tails for you –Continental Airlines Use of comparison Admen have to abide by the code of commercial practice and stick to the rules of advertising. They should not advertise their product at the expense of others. So they resort to unqualified comparison to avoid defaming other products. They cannot say: “Brand X is better than brand Y.” Otherwise, unpleasant lawsuits will inevitably occur. They can say: Lower fares, fewer restrictions –America West Airlines THAI – Smooth as Silk –Thai Airways International Use of “every” “always”, etc. These words are often used in ads to indicate the universal application of the product or to include as many potential customers as possible or to achieve the emphasis of the product’s utility or the company’s unswerving commitment. Being there is everything -Air New Zealand Use of “no”, “none”, etc. Negatives tend to be used very sparingly because the purpose of all ad slogans is to strengthen the positive side. But when negatives do occur, they are usually placed in an emphatic position to highlight the special the positive side. No ordinary airline –Virgin Atlantic Airways Use of verbs Although the ultimate purpose of advertising is to persuade consumers to buy its products, advertisements seldom use the word “buy” in it. Statistics show only two out of ten advertisements use the verb “buy” directly. On one hand, the advertisers try their best to promote their product; on the other hand, they don’t want to give the consumers a feeling of spending their money. Therefore, the choice of verbs is very careful in advertising. It is said that the most frequently used 20 verbs and phrasal verbs are: Try, ask, get, take, let, send for, use, call, make, come on, hurry, see, give, come, remember, discover, serve, introduce, choose, and look for. British Airways. To fly. To serve - British Airways Or We’ll take more care of you - British Airways Yet, it is an outstanding feature in the use of verbs among airline slogans that the word “fly” is fully used. There are up to 18 slogans with the words “fly” in them, accounting for 36%. Here are some examples, British Airways. To fly. To serve. -British Airways- More than just flying -Iberia Airline- Because you were bore to fly. -TAM Brazilian Airlines- This is quite easy to understand as the advertisers are all airlines. Obviously, they would like to highlight the characteristic of their service by reminding customers of the magical feelings of flying. This is done not only by the word “fly” but also by other words denoting the action of flying such as “sky”, “wings”, “the air”, “up” and so on. Alitalia. The wings of Italy. -Alitalia- Your Island in the Sky -Air Pacific- Something special in the air -American Airlines- Use of geographical names and brand names 29 out of 50 slogans have their brand names or geographical names referring to their countries or regions in them. Braathens. The wings of Norway -Braathens- Air Canada. Defy obstacles. -Air Canada- Shining through-Philippine Airlines -PAL- One fact that can be used to explain the high frequency of band names and geographical names appearing in airline slogans is that wh

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